The quality of the 2019 harvest pays tribute to the terroir we have at Glenelly: producing exceptional fruit despite the challenging circumstances.
Veraison [change of colour of the grape berries] occurred early at Glenelly, but with cold weather conditions we experienced a much longer ripening period. This situation changed suddenly with the arrival of intense heat which exacerbated the residual stress in the vineyards from previous harvests, resulting in the vines not having time to rejuvenate. Therefore, we had to harvest the Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Franc earlier than anticipated.
Due to the cold temperatures and wet conditions, we had a 2-3-week period after harvesting the Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Franc before we were able to start picking the Cabernet Sauvignon – most unusual for the cellar with all the other wines already pressed by this stage. During this waiting period the skins from the Cabernet Sauvignon had time to soften, while retaining very low sugar levels. Despite a slight deterioration in the condition of the bunches, we are very pleased with the extracts, aromatic profiles and fine tannins.
The 2019 harvest has produced red fruit beautifully ripe at 13-13.5% alcohol which is great news for Glenelly and unusual for South Africa. It is also worth mentioning that this year’s Merlot is certainly our best so far, expressing beautiful fruit.
This year will be a vintage very similar to what you’d find in Pauillac, Bordeaux.
Article by: Luke O’Cuinneagain, Winemaker and Africa Sales Manager